A home health nurse is in hot water and accused of showing her breasts and her tattoo on her low back to a patient in her care. She is also accused of performing sexual acts on him during a home health visit.
The psychiatric nurse was accused of having an affair with the man by Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Porthouse lied to her supervisor and told her that she was doing other duties when she was actually with the patient she was having an affair with.
A coworker of Porthouse, Merlina Spring told Porthouse,
"you know everybody is talking about your dress".
"there's gossip in the team that you are having an affair."
Porthouse told Spring that she was shocked, "You think all this time I have been out having an affair? Why? Because you couldn't see where I am and my dress style has improved?"
She told Spring that what others were saying about her was "that's quite slanderous".
“I’ve been sitting across from a paranoid schizophrenic, I haven't been doing anything other than that."
“I felt extremely emotional. I started to cry and I said 'I'm going to go home now."
The following day Spring told her to cancel her next appointment with the patient.
Spring also asked "why are you seeing patient _____ twice this week?'
“I explained about his father passing away and the way he was presenting and how nervous he gets when someone goes on annual leave."
“She said 'I want you to cancel that appointment on Friday. I want you to ring him ten minutes before the appointment and tell him you are too busy to see him."
“I felt unable to voice my concern at lying to the patient. It had taken months to build up trust with him."
“I felt backed into a corner, that I had to agree to what was being said because of this gossip.”
Porthouse told the Nursing and Midwifery Council that during her interview with her supervisor she was, "sitting there thinking what's this all about? I come in the room, sit down and the next thing I know she's asking me 'are you having a sexual relationship with _____ patient."
I told my supervisor, "No, that's awful."
“She said 'Well, you have been seeing him an awful lot.'
“I just burst into tears.’”
When the Nurse Council asked her why she had “excessive contact” with the patient, Porthouse said: ”I think I was very anxious to ensure I provided him with enough support.
“When I was told I hadn't provided that in the first case, and because there were real similarities and the death of his father, I put them together and thought that if I had more contact I would support him more.”
Porthouse said there were similarities between the patient and a former patient who had committed suicide.
According to Porthouse, “When the outcome of a disciplinary is that you haven't provided enough support, it does affect the support you would give to other people because you think that you feel responsible for somebody ending their life.
Rebecca Richardson, for the NMC, asked: “Did you see patient ______ as an opportunity to correct some of the mistakes you made?”
Porthouse replied: “I never consciously thought that I just wanted to help his improve his quality of life, that's all I have ever wanted to do.
She also said, “I did muddy the water with boundaries, I do agree. I can't sit here and say that I didn't because I did.”
When asked about the type of relationship she had with the patient, Porthouse said: “No, our relationship was never on a sexual level.”
Porthouse admitted excessive contact with patient _______ during the hearing but denies having an affair with him.
The hearing continues.